Tuesday, July 19, 2022


While the priest on the left side of the screen is a caracature of priests who celebrate Mass like this, this isn't that uncommon. On the rightside of the screen, there is absolutley no hint of the priest overwhelming the ritual and symbolism of the Tradtional Catholic Mass. This, in a nutshell, is what Archbishop Hector Aguer writes about but in a visual way!

 This morning at 6:30 AM, this emeritus pastor was trying to come up with what is wrong with the 1970 Roman Missal and I realized that if it were followed, nothing is wrong with it. The problem is what is added to it or taken away, like beauty, reverence and solemnity removed and folksiness, banality and ugliness added to it. 

And that could be done to the 1962 Roman Missal too! And as you will see in the video below, it was!

 And then I read what Archbishop Hector Aguer wrote and I realized I didn’t need to write it myself, but just let him speak and he speaks eloquently, cogently and is of course, he is right. 

Well, if the 1962 Roman Missal were celebrated like the 1970 Roman Missal is, and technically it could be as no one would stop it, it would have the same problems as the 1970 Roman Missal has.

Perhaps, you have seen the 1960’s Elvis movie where he is singing his music at a pre-Vatican II Mass?

If the spirituality, beauty and exactness of the 1962 Roman Missal, as it is celebrated today, were brought to the 1970 Roman Missal, I doubt that those, other than liturgical geeks, could tell the difference. 

And now that we are under an iron fist as it concerns the liberality of Pope Benedict giving freedom to priests and laity to celebrate the older form of the Mass without harassment, coming to a dismal conclusion, these same priests and laity need to be pioneers in restoring solemnity and beauty, Gregorian Plainchant and polyphony to the 1970 Roman Missal, as well as traditional piety, reverence and devotion!

This good Emeritus Bishop hits the nail on the head. This is a money quote from a longer article published by Rorate Caeli here.

Solemnity has been liquidated, in the practice of the new Mass, by trivialization; it is a smiling and friendly encounter in which the priest acts as animator. Eliminating ritual exactitude, special care is taken to create a "homely", everyday, ordinary atmosphere. In this way, the aim is to attract crowds, without realizing that solemnity is the guardian of the Faith, an invaluable gift of God, and that the Eucharist is a feast of the Faith.

By beauty we mean not only the setting, which must be artfully arranged, but the whole, the totality, and its perfection. Only one aspect should be emphasized: the music. The Gregorian plainchant and polyphony performed "a cappella", and the pipe organ, are replaced by the guitar, not played like a zither (note the kinship between guitar and zither) but badly played, punished one might say. The text and the elementary and percussive melody make up an insignificant ditty, with no musical or cultural value whatsoever.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Ritual exactitude."

I wonder when ritual exactitude came to be so highly valued in celebrating the liturgy. I suppose if the goal is to follow the rubrics to the letter, then exactitude might be a worthy goal. Hence, the rubric that, when the priest's hands are folded, the right thumb MUST be placed over the left thumb.

It would seem that there would be a concomitant thought that, if we have exactitude, if the proper thumb is in the proper position, there will be doctrinal exactitude.

I wonder if it is at all necessary to be so very prescriptive. A cleric must wear this style of shoe with silver buckles under his cassock, the "hands at shoulder level, separated to the width of the shoulders, with palms facing each other," or "then, with joined hands, little fingers touching the front of the altar, and, with a medium bow, pray..."...

Exactitude is the placement of hands and fingers... a sign of the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God?

TJM said...

I have read Archbishop Aguer’s comments on the “deforms” before. An intellectual lightweight like the Roche would never debate him. This is a masterpiece. Thanks for posting it, Father McDonald

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A failure in ritual exactitude results in the clown Mass on the left side of the screen in the first video, or milder variations of it. By exactitude, one does not mean robotic. Yes, some priests who celebrate the TLM do so robotically, especially I’d they learned hoe from the FSSP priest EWTN produced in the heyday of the previous pontificate. I do not recall pre Vatican II priests being robotic at Mass, but they followed the rubrics with elegant precision and exactitude.

TJM said...

The priest in the Novus Ordo Mass is a buffoon. I would literally walk out of that Mass. It is an insult to the faithful. He acts like a carnival barker at a fair. The EF rubrics constrain the priest, a good thing. The priest on the left is in need of a straight jacket!

As Father Fox has stated so well "no one likes the OF," and with good reason. The Pope and his minions are on a fools errand in trying to suppress the EF which represents the future. The shelf life of the OF has long ago expired. Cupich has presided over the closing of 123 parishes on his watch in Chicago, a third of the City's parishes. And there are still plenty of Catholics (nominal) in Chicago to fill all of them, but the "new and improved" Mass simply does not beckon them. But keep spending millions on consultants when the solution is in front of you. At every Mass I have attended in the Chicago Archdiocese celebrated in Latin, there are always young families with lots of children. They are you future customers, so why drive them away? In the Archdiocese there are options: SSPX and FSSP.

Anonymous said...

With Father McDonald's permission: Part 1 of 2.

The article in question is horrific.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Rorate Caeli has promoted Archbishop Emeritus' article in question. It is also not surprising that Peter Kwasniewski posted said article.

Examples from said article:

-- "It is interesting to note that young people in general have been enthusiastic about the possibility of participating in the Mass of Ages, as made possible, with great wisdom and pastoral zeal, by Benedict XVI, who established an "extraordinary form" of the Roman Rite, in 2007..."

Young people in general have not been have been enthusiastic about the possibility of participating in the Mass of Ages. Speaking relatively, the TLM has attracted the interest of a microscopic amount of young people.

I agree that young Catholics, though few, speaking relatively, have fueled the TLM's growth. But speaking relatively, young people "in general" have demonstrated little interest in the TLM.


-- "...the new generations were dazzled by an accuracy, solemnity, and beauty that they never knew before, and that they did not find in the "Eucharistic celebration" invented by the Freemason Annibale Bugnini and his crew of specialists."

"Freemason Annibale Bugnini." Does Archbishop Emeritus Aguer have proof that Monsignor Bugnini was a Freemason? That is a serious charge.

CCC: 2477: "Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty: of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor; of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them."


-- "The motu proprio Traditionis Custodes was a real calamity, forcing many priests and faithful to disobedience..."

Holy Mother Church's Magisterium has "forced" priests and Faithful to disobey the True Church? If that is true, then Holy Mother Church can lead us into rebellion against Her. Unbelievable.


-- "This papal ukase, contrary to the much-vaunted synodality, has disavowed the work of the great pontiffs St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI."

"Papal ukase." What a disgraceful thing to have said.

"This papal ukase...has disavowed the work of the great pontiffs St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI."

Nonsense. Pope Emeritus, for example, has insisted that his former Pontificate, and "this papal ukase," are in continuity with each other.


-- "The Pope is not the master of the liturgy, to do with it as he pleases, but its servant and custodian. Joseph Ratzinger explains this very well..."

That is why "Joseph Ratzinger" did as he pleased when he tossed aside the Traditional Good Friday Prayer for Jews.

Pope Venerable Pius XII, Encyclical Mediator Dei:

58. "It follows from this that the Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification."


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

With Father McDonald's permission: Part 2 of 2:

-- "It is curious to see that Rome confuses the Council with the "spirit of the Council", which was its arbitrary deformation. The progressive mania considers as "signs of renewal" those groups "that give a new face to the Church through social or pastoral assistance". A new face in which Christ no longer recognizes that of his Bride!"

If the above is valid, then the Apostolic See, protected by Jesus Christ, is unable to recognize, as well as interpret/implement, the authentic Council.

Instead, the Apostolic See promotes the deformed false Council...known as the "spirit of the Council."


-- "The Roman Rite was formed in the first Christian centuries, and was transmitted unaltered."

The Roman Rite, throughout the centuries, has experienced numerous alterations.


-- "In the new Mass of Paul VI (of Bugnini, in fact), the altar has disappeared, transformed into a table without a Cross; genuflections and reverences are omitted, and the celebrant looks at the faithful and refers to them in a fraternal encounter, instead of leading them to look with him to the East, to the rising Son, who comes so that, through the action of the Holy Spirit, the community of the Church may glorify the Father: with Christ, through Him and in Him, all honor and glory are given to the Father."

1. The Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul XVI is not, "in fact, Bugnini's Mass.

2. It is beyond belief that Archbishop Emeritus Aguer declared that in the Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI:

"...the altar has disappeared, transformed into a table without a Cross..."

The priest does not lead the Faithful "to the rising Son..."

The "community of the Church" does not "glorify the Father: with Christ, through Him and in Him, all honor and glory are given to the Father."


Archbishop Emeritus Aguer has waged liturgical war against the Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI.

The Archbishop has pitted Pope against Pope.

The Archbishop has acted against CCC #2477.

The Archbishop references in favorable fashion Emeritus Bened ict XVI. In turn, throughout the decades, Emeritus Benedict XVI has rejected the nonsense/venom, in question, that Archbishop Aguer has spewed.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

The National Catholic Register is running a story on the suppression of the EF in your diocese. Please read the comments!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It is what it is. That’s why I am promoting the Modern Missal in Latin, Plainchant or polyphony and ad orientem. That’s the forward in my diocese.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"A failure in ritual exactitude results in the clown Mass on the left side of the screen in the first video, or milder variations of it."

I would suggest that what may result in a "clown Mass" or milder variations thereof is not a failure in ritual exactitude.

Rather, it is a priest who fails to recognize or understand his role. Maybe he never understood it in the first place, maybe he got sidelined along the way.

As I have said before, a very bad performance of Handel's "Messiah" cannot be blamed on the composer. Such is the fault of the direcotr and/or musicians and/or singers.

Anonymous said...

-- Archbishop Aguer, several times, and in disgraceful fashion, referenced Emeritus Benedict XVI to pit him (Emeritus Benedict XVI) against Pope Francis/Rome/the Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI.

Emeritus Benedict XVI would not accept his having been used in such horrific fashion.

-- Archbishop Aguer, also in disgraceful fashion, attempted to defame the Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI via the following:

1. Archbishop Aguer claimed that Monsignor Bugnini was a "Freemason."

2. After having set up Monsignor Bugnini as a "Freemason," Archbishop Aguer pretended that the Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI is Monsignor Bugnini's Mass.

Archbishop Aguer declared that "in the new Mass of Paul VI (of Bugnini, in fact)..."

3. An additional attempt to defame the Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI:

Archbishop Aguer referred to the TLM as the "Mass of Ages."

Conversely, Archbishop Aguer reduced the Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI to that of a "Eucharistic celebration invented by the Freemason Annibale Bugnini and his crew of specialists."

Emeritus Benedict XVI rejected attempts that pitted the two "forms" of the one Roman Rite against each other.

Unlike Archbishop Aguer, Emeritus Benedict XVI had refused to permit the defamation of the Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI.

Archbishop Aguer's article in question is a disgraceful attack against Pope Francis/Rome/Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI...and has perpetuated the Liturgical War.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

LOL. I doubt you have the background to understand what the Archbishop wrote. The institutional Church is collapsing and the downward slide, at least in the US, began in the years immediately following the Council. Yet these old lefties won’t admit their “reforms” were largely responsible

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

Pope Francis has declared liturgical war repudiating Pope Benedict’s peace treaty. That was a shocking exercise of raw power.Fortunately vast numbers of Cardinals and Bishops are ignoring him other than fellow lefties like Cupich of Chicago, a petty little man, who is presiding over the closure of 123 parishes. News flash: there are enough nominal Catholics in Chicago to fill those churches but they are no longer buying a valid, yet uninspiring product: the Novus Ordo. Please do not bore us with your Asian and African stats, they are meaningless to the dire situation in the US

Fr Martin Fox said...

Father McD:

I will venture again to say that very few truly like the current Mass; if they did, they wouldn't make such a hash of it, changing it, "improving" it, making it "relevant," etc.

As far as the priest on the left side of the video: I have a great deal of sympathy for him, without excusing his very distracting manner of offering the Mass. For one, I am confident he was encouraged in this path, both by liturgical formation offered in the seminary or since, and also by parishioners who found some portions of his approach appealing or "meaningful." For another, I will guess he's been a priest awhile and been through a lot of changes yanking him around, he may have been a workhorse all these years, and he's a little tired and perhaps a little jaded.

I might point out that if nothing else changed, ad orientem would make a big improvement.

It also seems blindingly obvious that this priest, whatever his story, most likely had his counterparts 500 or 1000 years ago. I firmly believe any number of rubrics in the traditional Mass came about as a result of practical reflection on human nature and how things are likely to work better or worse. That's bound to happen if you do something for 2,000 years, don't you think?

One knock I would have on the post-Vatican II changes and even, to some degree, on some proposals made at Vatican II, is that they seem to have an unstated premise of, "Gee, wouldn't it be neat if we did such-and-such?" When it gets tried, it doesn't work out so well, or the practical difficulties manifest themselves. For example: the stated desire for the faithful to receive hosts consecrated at that Mass. Fine aspiration. Possible in some circumstances. But trying to make it a rule across the board fails most of the time. Similarly, I predict at some point, the distribution of the Precious Blood will become less frequent over time, again because of practical and theological reasons.

Oh, and before someone shrieks "aha!" My comments above do not impeach Vatican II. No one ever taught that the infallibility of an ecumenical council meant that each and every notion expressed therein was the best idea; only that there was no denial of faith and morals.

Anonymous said...

Archbishop Emeritus Aguer said..."The Pope is not the master of the liturgy, to do with it as he pleases, but its servant and custodian. Joseph Ratzinger explains this very well in his theology of the liturgy."

Then why did "Joseph Ratzinger" do as he had pleased in regard to the Roman Liturgy's traditional Good Friday Prayer for Jews?

"Joseph Ratzinger" had tossed aside a prayer that Pope, after Pope, after Pope, had approved for centuries. He claimed that the holy prayer in question was a "wound" to Jews.

Therefore, he exercised his awesome authority over the Roman Liturgy. He tossed away said prayer.

But I had thought that a Pope could not do as he pleased in regard to the Liturgy?

Pope Venerable Pius XII, Encyclical, Mediator Dei:

58. "It follows from this that the Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification."


Mark Thomas

ByzRus said...

I read Fr. AJM's post prior to reading the comments. Similar to Fr. MJK, I immediately zeroed in on "Eliminating ritual exactitude" and thought, is that really what the author feels divine worship is about?? Would such a focus not lead to worshipping the ritual? Would it not lead practitioners toward scrupulosity, which is a disorder? I've seen, in both forms of mass, and more so in young seminarians or acolytes, a focus on precision that was so exaggerated it becomes distracting. I suppose this is how some, going through formation, ultimately fall victim to that which should support and guide the prayer, not overtake the prayer.

That aside, when I skimmed though the piece on RC, the money quote has a bit more context and, to me, the archbishop's points seem more balanced.

In the East, our liturgy and its accompanying rituals are highly stylized but not in a way that leads to ultra-precision as might have been desirable particularly with the '62 missal. Look at 1:27 here: I have to say, it's impressive how they turn like a fan, but, it's a bit foreign to the Byzantine experience. We don't have choreography, just because. I suppose where we cross ourselves probably to an excess from the perspective of some (it is an affirmation of belief), the folks in this video should have been candidates for knee replacement by the time this mass had concluded.

I agree with Fr. AJM, the NO doesn't have to be unattractive. If I'm not mistaken, St. John Cantius is very advanced liturgically probably to the point that your average C/E Catholic might not be able to tell the difference between books. Some might find this to be a strange thing to say, but, if celebrated as intended, the NO is honestly closer to Divine Liturgy than the TLM.

The NO is prayer, and a valid one. The collegiality argument/concern aside, TJM, the NO obviously doesn't have to be a universally terrible experience. That it might be that way in many, many places is the fault of prideful men, not the missal/liturgy/ritual itself.

TJM said...


When I lived in the Archdiocese of Chicago, I attended Mass at St John Cantius frequently. It was a liturgical oasis in a liturgical desert. I saw 3 types of Masses there: the EF, the OF, ad orientem and in Latin, and the OF, ad orientem in the vernacular with the Kyrie, sung in Greek, and the Sanctus and Agnus Dei sung in Latin. If every parish in the US had this, there would be liturgical peace. But St. John Cantius is the rare exception. The problem is most parishes will continue to have banal, insipid liturgies. The problem is the OF Missal because it has so many options that you can never tell which Mass you are going to get. You can celebrate the OF to feel very much like the EF, but that rarely occurs, other than in places like my little Indiana rural parish which puts Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago to shame. My hope is that a future Missal will suppress the options so the OF Mass is more in conformity with the EF Mass and Catholics will experience this "unity" Pope Francis barks about but does nothing to achieve this unity.

rcg said...

The NO has always struck me as a diluted prayer, not ineffective, but more easily digested for Protestants seeking a path to conversion. On the other hand it poses a risk to Catholics because it allows for incomplete conversion and relaxing of our duty to give Our Lord His due. There is a very clear and obvious attitude in those most dedicated to the NO that because God is infinite and all powerful that our gifts are completely inadequate and pathetic. So if we acknowledge this greater infinity we can keep a little back for ourselves and He’ll never miss it. This is why the NO more often than not is offensive, possibly blasphemous and risks damnation.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

Off topic but I wanted you to see this:

House Democrats on Tuesday blocked a Republican resolution that would have condemned the violence seen by radical pro-abortion activists at churches and pro-life pregnancy centers in recent months.

Do you think the USCCB will get on this right away?

TJM said...


My mother converted to Catholicism and she said the dignity of the Mass was a key factor. The Church attracts far less converts today with the OF while shedding millions. I think that was the pipe dream of the “reformers” but I suspect they did not survey converts to assess the reality on the ground before proceeding with their wrecking ball approach

rcg said...

TJM, And that is a terrible shame.

V for Vendee said...

Bugnini was a Freemason along with Cardinal Baggio and many more in the Roman Curia. Still waiting to end the Gagnon report to 3 Popes.